On the consumption and creation of media.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Free Music Mondays: Cigar

This week's featured band is Cigar. The punk group features Rami on guitar, Jon on drums, Jason on bass, and all three on vocals.

Here are the tracks (right click and choose 'save as' to download ,+ indicates recommended):

* No More Waiting
* Mr. Hurtado +
* Me the One
* Movies & TV

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Sunday, August 13, 2006

Donky Kong, 2001 T-shirt Design

Check out this t-shirt design on threadless.com. It's a mashup of references to Donkey Kong and 2001: A Space Odyssey. I guess you can vote for it to become a design they used - I tried signing up but the activation email was never sent.

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Want free books? Try bookmooch.com

Over at bookmooch.com, you can offer up for books you are willing to give away and can receive books that you want. When you give away a book, you get a credit, and when you request to receive a book from someone it costs a credit. You can also earn partial points just for listing a book or notifying that you have received a shipment. So far I've sent out one book and requested three from other people and things seem to be moving smoothly. This is a really great idea and I would encourage people to join if they are active readers.

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Friday, August 11, 2006

Movie Review: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

How come I didn't hear about this movie earlier? Kiss Kiss Bang Bang takes you on a wild ride through LA as "a murder mystery brings together a private eye, a struggling actress, and a thief masquerading as an actor". The stylistic elements of the movie are what made this film excellent, including the choice of using the voice-over narration. Robert Downey Jr. plays his character perfectly, and all of the actors/actresses nail the humor that makes this film so fun to watch. One of the only complaints that I have is that the plot gets very convoluted near the halfway mark (although there is justification for it in the film). It just brought me down a little after the remarkable first act. With this added complexity, there was less room for the voice over/storytelling humor that I feel was the best quality of the film. Even with this criticism, I still highly recommend seeing this film.

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Movie Review: Land of the Blind

I really wanted to enjoy Land of the Blind, but it just didn't happen. The camerawork was great, Ralph Fiennes and Donald Sutherland did a fine job acting, and the costumes/props/setting all looked magnificent. However, the script did not reach the same level as everything else that contributed to the film. In an attempt to make a complex and thought provoking story, the screenwriter instead created a mish-mash of historical events and literature. It seemed like the film borrowed way too much from everything else instead of trying to create something new. In addition, the attempts at comedy clashed with the seriousness of the film and most of the time the lame jokes failed to amuse me at all. I think I would have preferred if the humor came out more subtly. Also, the pacing of events in the film seemed off as well - it's hard to put my finger on it, but the film just didn't seem to flow very smoothly. I recommend staying away from this film.

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Youtube Tuesdays

After last week's edition of Youtube Tuesdays was linked to by woot.com, I got a HUGE spike in traffic. This week I'm going to try something to help encourage traffic to everyone's favorite YouTube videos. Here's the deal:

1. On your blog, make an entry that showcases your favorite YouTube videos you've found in the past week.
2. In the post, include a link back here.
3. Write a comment on this post linking back to your blog, and I'll update this post to link back to you.

It's as simple as that. Now, onto the videos:

Links to other YouTube Tuesday posts:
* None yet! Post yours in the comments!

1. Michael J. Fox - Japanese Commercial
A wacky commercial for a Japanese drink featuring Michael J. Fox. His facial expression at the end is priceless.

2. Mr. T Fashion Show
Who convinced Mr. T to do these videos? Chock-full of 80s cheesiness, watch Mr. T act as an MC of a 'fashion show'. Does anyone know where to find the full version of "Be Somebody or be Somebody's Fool" (the movie that this is from)?

3. Travis Pastrana Double Backflip X-Games XII
Absolutely insane. A few years ago, a single backflip on a dirtbike was considered impossible, but now Pastrana has raised the bar again.

4. Sadness Trailer (Wii)
OK, I know this is a few months old, but I first saw it this past week. Although this doesn't contain any gameplay footage, it hooks me into wanting to know more.

5. Mel-O-Drama
On the Daily Show, Jon Stewart and crew use footage from Mel Gibson's movies to illustrate fake news stories about him after seeing real news sources do it for his drunk driving incident.

I hope you've enjoyed this week's videos. Remember to post a link in the comments back to your own YouTube Tuesday post and I'll put it in here!

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Monday, August 07, 2006

Free Music Mondays: Wonderland Dementation Dept.

This week's Free Music Monday features the politically-charged Wonderland Dementation Dept. Formed in Gothenburg, Sweden, they are self-described as "mental guerilla warfare through a melodic hardcore sound". Here are the tracks (right click and select 'save as', + indicates recommended):

* Hypnosis +
* Black Channel
* Collaboration of Thieves
* Homeland Security Program

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Movie Review: 11:14

This film focuses on a number of interconnecting events that occur one night around 11:14 PM. Each section of the film presents one character's point of view. With the revelation of each new substory, you can see how the decisions that each person has made affected everyone else in the film. Most of the dilemmas facing the characters deal with how to handle a crime - should they cover it up or tell the truth about what happened? Everyone chooses the former and this is what spins the events out of control. A fun film to watch, you begin to pick up how each person's actions have altered the outcome of events and continually need to re-evaluate what you have already seen based on new information. The screenwriter chose carefully when and how to release each piece of the puzzle, and this is what drives the story to a satisfying conclusion.

If you liked this film, I recommend seeing Crash, Pulp Fiction, and Go.

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Blanks on a Blank

Blanks on a Blank is a filmmaking contest where participants, randomly assigned an animal and a vehicle, must create a short film parodying Snakes on a Plane. So far, the videos are actually much more entertaining then I expected - people definitely put a lot of work into these. I would have loved to enter this contest, but a) they charge $40, and b) I just found out about it today and there are only about 10 days left.

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Video Game News / Findings

Again, mostly Nintendo related, but I've got some others in there as well.

Gamecube: A Video History That Never Was - Check out videos for games that were never released for the Gamecube. - via Digg

The Gamecube Reliquary - Incorporates the Gamecube into a piece of furniture. - via Kotaku

How to Get the Most Out of your Dead Rising Demo - A guide to the XBOX 360 demo (the full game is released tomorrow).

The Unbelievers - A blog that features gamers reveiwing games (while playing them for a month) that they normally would never play. - via Joystiq

Nintendo Monopoly - Play the classic Monopoly game with Nintendo characters. - via Digg

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Saturday, August 05, 2006

mediaclippers.com : Funny CNN Screencaps

Check out mediaclippers.com, a blog where they post funny screencaptures of CNN. Make sure to view their archives to check out past featured photos.

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Friday, August 04, 2006

Free Movie Fridays

Instead of "Free Media Fridays", I think I'm just going to do "Free Movie Fridays" instead, where I feature a movie that is free to be copied and distributed. This week's film is Why We Respect the Law, a short educational movie made in 1950. In it, a boy, Ken, goes to his family's lawyer after he and his friends steal lumber from a nearby construction site. The lawyer goes on to explain, with the help of the United States Constitution and a painting of Socrates, why the law should be followed without fail. Spouting lines such as "law is in harmony with the universe itself" and detailing a lawless parallel universe, he convinces Ken to pay back the lumber company. With its 50s cheesiness, this short movie will make you laugh.

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Banlieue 13 (District B13)

District B13 ended up being your standard action movie - the plot is nothing to get excited about, but the fight/chase scenes will get your adrenaline pumping. The story centers around a Parisian ghetto in the year 2010 that has become overrun with gangsters and drug dealers. Damien (Cyril Raffaelli), a police officer, and Leito (David Belle), a resident of the barrio, have to recover a neutron bomb and rescue Leito's sister from the area's drug lord. The plot basically exists to string together the various scenes exhibiting the "parkour" skills of the two co-stars. According to Wikipedia, parkour is "a physical discipline of French origin in which participants attempt to pass obstacles in the fastest and most direct manner possible, using skills such as jumping, vaulting and climbing, or the more specific parkour moves". These moments definitely made the film worth watching, as the physical abilities of these two are absolutely incredible. However, one odd aspect is that the best parkour scenes occur in the beginning of the film rather than the end. This made the conclusion of the film a bit anticlimatic because I expected them to keep upping the ante. I recommend this movie to anyone who wants to see some great action sequences and doesn't mind if the storyline falls short. If you have already watched this movie and enjoyed it, I HIGHLY reccomend seeing Ong-Bak and Tom yum goong, two Thai films that star Tony Jaa, a stuntman turned actor whose abilities exceed any action star that I have ever seen.

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Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story

I've wanted to see this movie for over a year, and I finally got the opportunity to watch it the other day and I was not disappointed. This mockumentary focuses on the return of Bobby Dukes (Rob Corddry) to the world of paintball ten years after he was banned for cheating during a paintball match. Dukes must prove that he still has what it takes to be the best and assembles a team of misfits to compete in the local paintball tournament. Throughout the film, Corddry remained just as funny, if not funnier, than his work on The Daily Show. For the most part, the rest of the cast gave a top notch performance as well. One of the only complaints I have deal with the scenes where they are actually playing paintball. Even though some of the camerawork is great, filmed in the style of Saving Private Ryan, it tended to get a little boring after some long stretches. Other than that, I can't really say anything bad about it. There are some truly classic moments in the film that you'll remember and laugh about forever. I highly recommend this to anyone who is a fan of Corddry as well as to those who play paintball.

More Info
* Official Web Site

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen full albums on fakeapassion's iPod

1. Anti-Heros - American Pie

2. At the Drive-in - Relationship of Command

3. Bad Astronaut vs. Armchair Martian - War of the Worlds

4. Bad Religion - No Control

5. The Descendents - Two Things at Once

6. The Dwarves - The Dwarves Must Die

7. Husker Du - Zen Arcade

8. Lagwagon - Resolve

9. Millencolin - Life on a Plate

10. Millencolin - Pennybridge Pioneers

11. Nirvana - Nevermind

12. Operation Ivy - Energy

13. Wire - Pink Flag

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Wii news and updates

Here are some interesting articles I've found regarding the Wii:

Ultimate Wii Rumor Compilation - The breakdown of every Wii rumor to hit the internet since 2004.

Wiiva La Revolution
- Chronicles the history and eventual downfall of previous motion-sensing controllers. I'm really expecting the Wii to come out on top, but as the author states, "history shows that each time something like this has been attempted – each time claiming to be revolutionary and industry-changing, much like the Wii – it has failed to catch on because of inaccurate hardware, the same problem that plagued Wii prototype hardware."

Midway and Ubisoft Up Wii Support - This is great news for the Wii. Gamecube 3rd party support wasn't exactly stellar so this is nice to see companies joining right off the bat.

Excite Truck controls - For those interested in seeing how this successor to ExciteBike is played.

Sadness Concept Art - Another mysterious image is released regarding this highly anticipated game.

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New Shows on Sci-Fi Channel: Updated Opinions

A couple of weeks ago I posted my views on the new Sci-Fi Shows that would be airing soon. After seeing episodes from most of the shows, here are my updated opinions:

Garth Marenghi's Darkplace
Not much more to say about this since the episode that aired was already available online. I still have high hopes for the rest of this unique series.

Dead Like Me
I'm still watching this show every Tuesday at 7pm. Very funny and entertaining even if the pace of the episodes sometimes feels uneven. It originally aired on Showtime and its obvious that a lot of content is censored. I'm hoping that they're only censoring words and not cutting out sections of the episodes.

This has been a major disappointment. Although I've seen mixed opinions online, I just don't find the show compelling enough stay tuned after watching two hours of Dead Like Me. The impression I get is that it's just an amalgam of every sci-fi cliche in the book.

Who Wants to be a Superhero?
As far as Eureka fell from my expectations, Superhero far and away exceeded them. I really thought this was going to a lame excuse to get Stan Lee to appear on a Sci-Fi show but it has actually been very entertaining. It's refreshing to see a reality show that attempts to stress qualities such as integrity and compassion rather than deception, even though the producers used quite a bit of trickery to eliminate the first two superheroes. Major Victory seems to be the one to watch - his attitude is absolutely perfect for this show, and the segment where he rescues the little girl in the first episode is priceless (watch the whole first episode on scifi.com). What I don't like about him is the fact that he is basically superman without the weakness of Kryptonite. The winner of the show gets their character's comic book created by Stan Lee and also their own original Sci-Fi movie. This opportunity for a movie is more intriguing to me than the comic book - if Major Victory wins it would be great if they let him star as the character in his movie.

Night Stalker
Although I somewhat enjoyed the premiere episode, I felt too disconnected from the title character to really get into the series. It seems like almost the entire episode was told from points of view other than Kolchak's, which just felt very odd. I will probably watch one more episode to see if it's worth it to keep watching, but I don't have my hopes up.

Other shows:
The Lost Room, The Dresden Files, The Amazing Screw-On Head
If I find any more information on this shows I'll be sure to post it here.

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

YouTube Tuesdays

Edit: Welcome all from woot.com! Be sure to check out other posts from my blog after you're done watching these videos.

Welcome to another edition of YouTube Tuesdays, where I post my five favorite YouTube videos from the past week. Here they are:

1. Look Around You - Maths
Absolutely hilarious parody of those 80s educational videos. Click on the video to see other entries in the series, including Water, Germs, Music, Iron, and the Brain.

2. Colbert making fun of morning news
Stephen Colbert strikes back against morning news shows after they bash his program. I think the Colbert Report has finally overtaken the Daily Show.

3. Mansion Video
This video actually makes me sick to my stomach. Not because there is anything gruesome or gory, but because I keep thinking of what they could have done with the money they used to build this place.

4. Ultimate Utopia XXIII
A live action version of a Final Fantasy game. Very clever with some nice special effects. I loved the heads up display.

5. Dead Rising extended ad
I'm a huge fan of the stuck-in-a-mall-and-you-must-survive genre - my favorite episode of 'Are You Afraid of the Dark?' is The Tale of the Pinball Wizard. I think it's the fusion of the mundane with the extraordinary that really piques my interest.

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